Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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nearly identical with the above, the execution of which is not nearly equal to that which gave a nameless grace to the fine Greek relic. Slung by a strap on the shoulder, and lying against the back of this figure, is what looks like a flat cap. The remaining adult male figures are all more or less ludicrous and homely; some of them are grotesque. A very remarkable one shows an elderly man seated on a rock, with, by way of clothing, only a girdle, the ends of which descend before his figure, and a conical cap, which is on his head. He holds, in his left hand, a large reticulated bag, or net-pouch, completely filled, although what it contains I cannot guess. In his right hand is, at present, a rod of ivory, about the size of a bodkin, one end of which appears in front, and is covered with gold, as if it were intended for a sceptre, or staff of another kind; the other end of this implement—whatever it may be I have not been able to discover—protrudes behind the statue, and proves to have been broken: no gold is on this part. The face has a squalid, ugly, and degraded character; the features are mean and wasted. These circumstances, and the general aspect of the work, as well as the bag at its side, induce me to think that this is the statuette of a begging priest of antiquity, one of a class analogous to the dervish of the Mohammedan world; unless, indeed, it is a fisherman. The next instance is that of a water-seller, who is naked, except in respect to a very short tunic, which extends from the hips to the knees. He carries on one shoulder a large amphora with two handles, the foot of which he grasps with one hand, while its weight makes his shoulders and his knees, brawny as they are, bend. The back is further burdened by a cask intended to hold a store of liquid, the spout, or leathern tap of which comes to the front, and is grasped by the right hand of the bearer. A wine-presser, squatting on the ground in the manner of an Indian fakir, comes next; his knees are raised, and the downward extended hands are crossed before his person, and hold a rammer, or pestle, with which he crushes grapes; all the body to his legs is covered by a rough skin; probably that of a bear, from which the hands, the head, and the legs issue; the feet are in loose boots, or buskins. He sits in a large bowl, or pan, and seems, with the rammer, to be pressing grapes in it; the spout of the bowl is seen in front, between the feet of the figure. The bearded head is crowned with a wreath, and the face bears an absurd expression of sottish gravity, suggesting that the owner meditated on the deplorableness of drunkenness. This is a complete refutation of the assumption which obtained with many writers that nothing exists among antique sculpture of a satirical, or even ludicrous character. So far is this from being the case, that the obscene statues, statuettes, bas-reliefs, and other works on lamps and plaques, might well have suggested that the assumption was fallacious. During the past half-century the discovery of relics of the category, which is so well represented by the Figurines de Tanagra, has effectually dispelled the idea that the nations of antiquityhad no ideas capable of ludicrous reproduction in plastic modes. Another grotesque figure is that of a bearded Hercules of a very archaic type, and clad completely in a lion's skin, the head and ears of which are placed on his head, so that the ears project on the right and left. His beard falls on the breast of the statuette, the bare face of which has a stony and energetic expression. In his right hand is a monstrous club, strengthened with bands of metal; it rises to the owner's shoulders. In his left hand is a large basket or dish, filled with fruit of different kinds, as well as a piece of flat bread or cake; his hands and feet are bare. The seated figure of an elderly man comes next; his face is portrait-like in its quaintness and gaunt character; he seems to be in the act of calling aloud, as if he noisily solicited alms. He is naked, except a short cloak, falling from his shoulder, and fastened under his chin. At his left crouches a dog of long and lean form, with a slender muzzle, and, in its general aspect, like a greyhound. The man fondles the dog with his left hand, and holds in his right a round object, probably a ball. The groupings represent Ulysses and his dog. Simonides and Anacreon were similarly represented. A similar object occurs with other statuettes. With this group may be classed a figure of a bearded man clad in a lion's skin, standing erect, and, like the before-described woman, carrying a draped child on his left shoulder, and clasping the feet of his burden with one hand, while, in the other hand, he carries a long thyrsus, the fir-cone head of which rises above his right shoulder. As in the above - named skin-clad examples, the hands and feet are naked. There is shewn, also, a great deal of spirit in the standing youth, Avho wears a tunic of the proportions of a loose shirt, reaching from his shoulders to his knees. He seems to have cast over

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